By Jordan Bastian and Brittany Ghiroli
BALTIMORE-- The Orioles are rolling again.
Baltimore, which endured a four-game losing streak last week, watched Nolan Reimold's two-out walk-off homer lift the O's to a 5-3 sweep-clinching win over the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards. Now winners of four straight, the Orioles remain the American League East leaders with Reimold's big blast.
"You have to win to reach our goal of making the playoffs," Reimold said. "So, in that case it's huge. For me, it's big. You have to break out some time. I'm glad it was in a big moment."
The homer, Reimold's fifth of the year and his third career walk-off, came on a 2-0 pitch from Tribe reliever Cody Allen and also scored Pedro Alvarez.
"I just put myself in a bad count," Allen said. "And instead of trying to still manage the inning, I just kind of laid one in there and he didn't miss it. We had a chance here to kind of extend that game and hopefully win it against a good team in their ballpark. But unfortunately we couldn't do that."
The inning started on an odd play, with Alvarez striking out and hustling down the line when ball scooted past catcher Roberto Perez. He was hit in the head with an errant throw by Perez to put the O's leadoff man on first.
Mike Napoli tied the game up for the Indians with an unearned run off All-Star reliever Brach Brach in the eighth. After second baseman Jonathan Schoop's error, Napoli drove a ball into left field to knot it up at 3.
Orioles starter Vance Worley turned in his best outing of the season, tossing a season-high seven innings and holding the Indians to two runs, both of which came in the top of the fourth inning.
Indians starter Corey Kluber also went seven innings, striking out eight and allowing three runs in a no-decision. One of those runs was Schoop, who connected for his 17th homer of the year in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie.
Orioles setup man Darren O'Day, activated before the game, struck out the side in the eighth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Vanimal: Formerly a long reliever, Worley continues to give the O's rotation life as he picked up his second win as a starter. The righty, fresh off a season-high 88 pitches, threw 102 on Sunday and held the Indians to five hits and three walks. Worley struck out three in his first quality start of the season and marked the O's third quality start in four games.
"I was able to use all of my pitches to both sides and feel confident in all of them," Worley said. "I think today we threw more curveballs and more changeups to kind of keep guys off-balance instead of just fastball and cutters." More >
Worley exits, offense enters: After Worley's exit, Cleveland jumped on O's reliever Brad Brach in the eighth. Jason Kipnis led off with a single and then Francisco Lindor reached safely when Schoop could not cleanly glove a grounder, as Kipnis ran in front of the second baseman. Mike Napoli made Baltimore pay with an RBI single through the hole on the left side, scoring Kipnis from second to tie the game, 3-3.
"Any time you go anywhere and get swept, it's not a good thing," Kipnis said. "But we came with more energy today and had a little bit more fight in us. And it showed. It was a closer ballgame -- more of what we expect of how we should be playing. We put up a battle there. You can't put it all on Cody. We had a lot of opportunities to get in runs and we didn't do it."
Ball 3 : The Orioles made a unusual baserunning mistake in the bottom of the eighth that resulted in Manny Machado being picked off first base in a tie game. Chris Davis, who was at the plate, lost track of the count and tossed his bat aside on ball three, thinking that he walked. Machado reacted to that, moving off of first base and getting nabbed once Davis realized his error.
Perez's errant throw: Perez said he should have blocked the pitch that Allen threw in the dirt to strike out Alvarez at the start of the ninth. The bigger mistake came a moment later, though. After the ball caromed off the back wall perfectly, bouncing back to Perez, the catcher fired up the first-base line and hit Alvarez in the helmet. Three batters later, Reimold hit a two-out home run to win it.
"That guy shouldn't have come to the plate," Francona said of Reimold. "[Perez] didn't move his feet. We talk to him about that all the time, and you don't ever want somebody to learn a lesson the hard way. He did. We remind him of that all the time. He had plenty of time to move his feet and make a nice throw to first. He was just flat-footed."
"Nolan works hard at it. I know the hitting coaches said they've been working on a couple things the last couple days and think he's real close. I think the key to it was laying off two breaking balls where you get into a hitter's count and get a fastball." -- Showalter, on Reimold
"That was a good pitch from Cody in the dirt. I should've blocked it. But it ricocheted off the wall, and I got it back. I got too confident. I don't know, if I would've cleared space and thrown to first, I didn't know if I had time. I just got a little bit confident and I hit him in the head." -- Perez, on his wild throw in the ninth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Orioles' rotation seemingly had its way with the Tribe this weekend. Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Worley combined for a 0.95 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in the three games against Cleveland. Over 19 innings, the trio struck out 15, walked six and allowed only two earned runs.
Reimold's homer was the Orioles first pinch-hit walk-off homer since Chris Davis on June 23, 2014, against the White Sox.
The Orioles won a big challenge in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Alvarez hit into what was originally ruled as an inning-ending double play. Baltimore challenged the call at first base, which was overturned after 54 seconds, and saw the O's instead tie the game on the fielder's choice.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Following an off-day on Monday, the Indians will open a two-game series with the National League East-leading Nationals with a 7:10 p.m. ET tilt on Tuesday at Progressive Field. Right-hander Danny Salazar (11-3, 2.75 ERA) is slated to take the hill for the Tribe.
Orioles:Yovani Gallardo will get the ball for Monday's series opener against the Rockies. In his past four starts, Gallardo is winless and hasn't recorded a quality start. He has struggled against the Rockies in his career, too. Gallardo is 0-5 with a 6.08 ERA against Colorado in 10 games (nine starts).